On Being Comfortable in My Own Skin
This has been a struggle. And when I say struggle, I mean S T R U G G L E. I know I’m not the only one, so let me break it down for a second:

This is so multi-faceted, I don’t even know where to start.
Growing up, I kind of had my life simply written out for me. Written out by those who raised me, aka my parents. I say it was written out, or “dictated” down to me, it was expected of me to:
1. be a good student
2. get good grades (see point 1)
3. be at home
Once I was old enough:
4. help at the restaurants
5. go to college and graduate
6. get a job
7. and suddenly, all of these “milestone” expectations stopped here
But in between all of this, I was never allowed to think for myself (even though I still did), I was never supposed to speak for myself, I was never ENCOURAGED to do so, I was never encouraged to find my own interests or pursue a hobby or something I enjoyed. It’s like I “knew” what my life consisted of, and I couldn’t stray from the restaurant and family.
The only thing that was a common thread through all of this was that I liked to read and I loved books. And even this was something I left behind due to bad friendships and not enough encouragement or positive role models. Nobody ever told me about the classics or the socially conscious books I should be reading.

So now, here I am. At 26, I have achieved these “goals” and “expectations” that were placed on my life, I have spoken out about my dislike for the restaurant and now I am truly left alone. But the thing is, I don’t even know what it is that I want. What makes me, me? I don’t even know what kind of music I like. Or what my favorite book is, or what genre of movies I enjoy. It’s like I know nothing about myself. It’s like I am re-learning, I am going through a re-birth. I think my mid to late 20’s is going to be a re-birth of me.

I can’t even begin to touch on the other layers that go under “being comfortable in my own skin.”  There’s body image, there’s facial structure, there is hair, there is height. There is so damn much to dissect.

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the power of saying “no.”

I recently listened to the new episode of the Dear Sugars podcast on the power of “no,” and I couldn’t help but feel inspired. They interviewed Oprah Winfrey on this episode and asked her what her experience has been in saying “no.” Oprah talked as if she had taken the feelings right out of my own soul.

She talked about this inherent feeling that, I believe, as women, we all have. This need to say yes to everyone and everything in order to please everybody, otherwise we think that they won’t love us.  WE EQUATE PLEASING AND SAYING YES WITH HOW WORTHY WE ARE OF LOVE.  If I say no to my father, the inside of my whole being is screaming at me and is thinking that he “won’t love me anymore” or it is eating itself up inside because it is full of guilt. But guess what, me saying “no” to working a shift at the restaurant doesn’t close the restaurant down. The show continues, and people keep working, and people continue to be served. Without me. And look at that, the world does not crumble.

The world does not crumble when a woman says “no.” Even though we are forced and taught to believe that we have to say yes to everything otherwise, no one will survive. WE, as women, have to fulfill so many roles that are just expected of us, like when did we even start believing this? At what point in our lives did this switch go off in our heads that made us think that we had to spread ourselves so thin to please everyone around us. WHEN!?

When we are so busy trying to make everyone else happy, there is no more space for ourselves. And our hearts. And OUR desires. There is no space for us left. How can we continue occupying a body that is only valued when others are happy? Why can’t we stop. And begin to set boundaries. And allow OURSELVES to breathe. And to value ourselves even when we say no to helping,  and take a fucking nap instead.

no one ever taught me

My head gets so wrapped up in who it thinks I need to be.

In these emotions. Anger, frustration, angst. Hatred.

My body can so easily carry these emotions. I feel them all over my entire body.

No wonder doctors always ask me why I am so tense.

 

No one ever taught me that I didn’t have to carry what isn’t mine.

Instead, it was piled on. Layer, after layer, after critique, after critique.

 I learned that maybe if I took on the pain for them, they would see me. Or value me.

But that wasn’t true.

 Sometimes, I feel that I am the only target of my own hatred, and I weep.

magic of march

March felt like a long month for me.  By “long” I mean that it felt jam-packed with so many things I did, and completed, and was a part of.  “Long” doesn’t always mean boring or uneventful for me. It felt more like never-ending …

 I started off feeling a bit unsettled (as I shared in my first Friday Reflections post), but I was able to quickly nip that in the bud and establish a schedule for myself.  Or establish a space that felt more like me. 

I started the month with a pleasant visit from my good friend, Desi.  We played tourist for a day because that’s the amount of time she stayed. A day!  I established some fitness goals and though I did not completely accomplish them, I did get back on a more mindful eating pattern.  As in: eating from home more, taking lunch from home instead of eating out, and making sure I ate breakfast at home (as opposed to in my car on my way to work).  That has really helped.  I made it a goal to join the gym, yet another month passed and I did NOT.  I don’t know why I keep putting this off, lol.

I worked through some more sadness.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I attended a play!  That was unique and new in my life.  I want to incorporate more art in my life, whether that be plays, or concerts, or museums, or shows, movies…etc. I’ve been craving more creativity.

I settled in a little deeper at work.  I am slowly starting to get into a groove.  It’s starting to feel more like “my life” and not something that I am doing… if that makes any sense at all.

Also, I made decisions regarding my love life.  I have embraced my ideas and my desires about wanting to be a young woman in her mid-20’s, and NOT wanting or even working towards getting married.  I am nowhere near that.  And I am perfectly okay with that right now. I get to be selfish right now.  And I get to do this without having to call it “selfish.”

I am excited for new and exciting things coming in the next few months, but also, I am content with my “boring-ness,” at least for now.

thanks for reading

xx